Batson in Practice: What We Have Learned About Batson and Peremptory Challenges
58 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2012
Date Written: 1996
In the years since the Batson v. Kentucky, 106 S. Ct. 1712 (1986) decision was handed down, a number of developments have occurred. First, the Court has expanded the application of Batson beyond its original sphere and correspondingly made further inroads upon the previously impregnable realm of the peremptory challenge. Second, lower courts have had the opportunity, or perhaps task, of implementing Batson, refining Batson's general dictates about "prima facie case[s]" of discrimination and "neutral explanations." Third, and perhaps most interestingly, in cases in which Batson's requirement of "neutral explanations" has applied, we have been given a window into a previously secret arena; the thought processes of lawyers in the use of peremptory challenges. This article examines each of these developments.
Keywords: Batson, neutral explanantions, peremptory challenges
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